November 8, 2019 - Hell Week
Oh, to be so naive and full of hope and promise! I thought I would sail through the second half of chemo, but I thought wrong. I have not had nausea, but I mistakenly called that "winning". I would take nausea any day.
When we arrived home Tuesday evening, I still had not felt any real effects of the chemo other than fatigue. I was so happy not to be nauseous, I was almost giddy. However, as the night progressed the symptoms began to creep in. Around bedtime, I began feeling tingling and numbness in my hands. In fact, I needed Jamie's help to remove an ear bud from my AirPod case. I did not have the dexterity or strength to grip and pull one out out of the case. I should have taken this as a sign.
On Wednesday, I awoke to more discomfort with the neuropathy in both hands and feet. By mid-morning, I experienced my first real joint and bone pain. The joint and bone pain was and continues to be the worst pain I have ever felt - ever. I consider myself someone who has a high tolerance for pain. This is the most intense pain that I have ever felt. It brings hot tears to my eyes. They are tears of frustration and pain. I called my oncologist begging for any remedy, any relief. The sad hard truth is there isn't a magic bullet for pain relief.
My recourse is to take pain medication (narcotics and or opiates) to numb the pain, or rather trick my brain to not feeling it.
There are 2 painful side effects attacking my body: neuropathy and bone pain. It is the bone pain that is unbearable. It is constant. For one hour, I may have intense knee pain in both legs, and then the next hour it may be in my hips. I may feel pain isolated to a bone area or joint, or I feel it all over. The pain comes and goes and intensifies, over and over all throughout the day. On a scale of 1-10 for pain, I am at a solid 10. I was hoping the pain would ease off on Thursday, it did not. That is my hope for today.
As I sit here experiencing my third sleepless night this week, I am not a fan of Taxol. I am taking comfort that if it is causing me so much pain and suffering, imagine what Taxol is doing to the cancer cells that may be lingering in my body. It is ironic that I was dubbing it the "kinder and gentler" chemo. It is neither kind nor gentle.